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Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt


Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt

Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Or four. Or none.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design -- plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.
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The Origins of the Universe: Why is There Something Rather than Nothing?

Great mysteries still surround the origins and existence of the universe. Physicist Neil Turok, philosopher of physics David Albert, and writer and philosopher Jim Holt discuss with host Steve Paulson the most basic existential question of all: Why are we here?

New York Academy of Sciences
Tuesday, October 14, 2014


2013 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Existence of Nothing

The concept of nothing is as old as zero itself. How do we grapple with the concept of nothing? From the best laboratory vacuums on Earth to the vacuum of space to what lies beyond, the idea of nothing continues to intrigue professionals and the public alike.

Join moderator and Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson as he leads a spirited discussion with a group of physicists, philosophers and journalists about the existence of nothing. The event, which was streamed live to the web, took place at the American Museum of Natural History on March 20, 2013.


J. Richard Gott, professor of astrophysical sciences, Princeton University, and author of Sizing Up the Universe: The Cosmos in Perspective

Jim Holt, science journalist and author of Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story

Lawrence Krauss, professor of physics, Arizona State University and author of A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing

Charles Seife, professor of journalism, New York University, and author of Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea

Eve Silverstein, professor of physics, Stanford University, and co-editor of Strings, Branes and Gravity

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate — generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work — bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debates benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.

2017 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: De-Extinction

2016 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Is the Universe a Simulation?

2015 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Water, Water

2014 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Selling Space

2013 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Existence of Nothing

2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

2011 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: The Theory of Everything

Rose Center Anniversary Isaac Asimov Debate: Is Earth Unique?

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Does time exist? - Andrew Zimmerman Jones

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The earliest time measurements were observations of cycles of the natural world, using patterns of changes from day to night and season to season to build calendars. More precise time-keeping eventually came along to put time in more convenient boxes. But what exactly are we measuring? Andrew Zimmerman Jones contemplates whether time is something that physically exists or is just in our heads.

Lesson by Andrew Zimmerman Jones, directed by Nice Shoes.

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Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt | Mental Illness P1

The Universe As We Know It Shouldn't Exist | The Matter-Antimatter Problem

The universe is a pretty grand place to live, but scientists have one issue with it, it's an anomaly that should be scientifically impossible.

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When Einstein Walked with Gödel | Robert Wright & Jim Holt [The Wright Show]

2:33 Jim’s new book of essays, When Einstein Walked with Gödel
10:30 The Platonists who believe mathematics is transcendent
21:42 Against viewing math as transcendent
32:05 The implications of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem
40:39 What’s so special about light? Einstein can explain
59:39 Tachyons, the hypothetical particles that travel faster than light
68:22 How Jim became a “rigorous dilettante” (with cameos by B.F. Skinner and Bette Midler)

Robert Wright (, The Evolution of God, Nonzero, Why Buddhism Is True) and Jim Holt (When Einstein Walked with Gödel, Why Does the World Exist?)

Recorded June 11, 2018

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Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt

Space Documentary The Big Question Why are we here? In this short documentary, Dawkins takes a look at the purpose of human existance and asks the .

Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this .

Documentary,2015, Full Documentary, Future, Documentary,2015, Full Documentary, Future, Documentary,2015, Full Documentary, Future,

Series from Channel 4 featuring Sir Martin Rees. There is a fundamental chasm in our understanding of ourselves, the universe, and everything. To solve this .

Why does the Universe Exist? ~ Swami Sarvapriyananda ~ VedantaZenOneness

The Biggest Question for Humanity is: Why does the Universe Exist? and Why I exist? Swami Sarvapriyananda answered these question humorously and sweetly.

Questions: Why does the Universe exist? Why do I exist? Why there is duality? Why can't brahman be alone without appearance? Why Maya? Why? Why? Why?

Title: Why does the Universe Exist? ~ Swami Sarvapriyananda ~ VedantaZenOneness

Swami Sarvapriyananda explained how Advaita is true and what is the benefits of the Advaita.

Swami Sarvapriyananda has been appointed as Minister and Spiritual Leader of the Vedanta Society of New York and assumed his duties here on January 6, 2017.

Before this, Swami Sarvapriyananda served as assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California for 13 months, beginning on December 3, 2015.

Swami Sarvapriyananda joined the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in 1994 and received Sannyas in 2004. Before being posted to the VSSC’s Hollywood Temple, Swami Sarvapriyananda served as an acharya (teacher) of the monastic probationers’ training center at Belur Math. Swami Sarvapriyananda has served the Ramakrishna Math and Mission in various capacities including being the Vice Principal of the Deoghar Vidyapith Higher Secondary School, Principal of the Shikshana Mandira Teacher Education College at Belur Math, and the first Registrar of the Vivekananda University at Belur Math.

Speacial thanks to,
1. Ashtavakra Gita
2. Yoga Sutra of Patanjali (Superconsciousness in Yoga Sutra)
3. Ramakrishna Paramhansa
4. Swami Vivekananda
5. Swami Sarvapriyananda

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Vedanta is one of the world’s most ancient religious philosophies and one of its broadest. Based on the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of India, Vedanta affirms the oneness of existence, the divinity of the soul, and the harmony of religions.

Advaita Vedanta:

Advaita Vedanta is one version of Vedanta. Vedanta is nominally a school of Indian philosophy, although, in reality, it is a label for any hermeneutics that attempts to provide a consistent interpretation of the philosophy of the Upanishads or, more formally, the canonical summary of the Upanisads, Badarayaņa’s Brahma Sutra. Advaita is often translated as “non-dualism” though it literally means “non-secondness.”
Although Śaṅkara is regarded as the promoter of Advaita Vedanta as a distinct school of Indian philosophy, the origins of this school predate Śaṅkara. The
existence of an Advaita tradition is acknowledged by Śaṅkara in his commentaries. The names of Upanṣadic teachers such as Yajñavalkya, Uddalaka, and Bādarāyaņa, the author of the Brahma Sūtra, could be considered as representing the thoughts of early Advaita. The essential philosophy of Advaita is an idealist monism, and is considered to be
presented first in the Upanisads and consolidated in the Brahma Sūtra by this tradition.

According to Advaita metaphysics, Brahman—the ultimate, transcendent and immanent God of the latter Vedas—appears as the world because of its creative energy (māyā). The world has no separate existence apart from Brahman. The experiencing self (jīva) and the transcendental self of the Universe (ātman) are in reality identical (both are Brahman), though the individual self seems different as space within a container seems different from space as such. These cardinal doctrines are represented in the anonymous verse “Brahma Satyam Jagad Mithya; Jivo Brahmaiva Na Aparah” (Brahman is alone True, and this world of plurality is an error; the individual self is not different from Brahman). Plurality is experienced because of error in judgments (Mithya) and ignorance (Avidya). Knowledge of Brahman removes these errors and causes liberation from the cycle of transmigration and worldly bondage.

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As always… Thank you for watching!

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Why does the universe exist? | Mental Illness | Jim Holt P2

Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt

Why is our universe fine-tuned for life? | Brian Greene

At the heart of modern cosmology is a mystery: Why does our universe appear so exquisitely tuned to create the conditions necessary for life? In this tour de force tour of some of science's biggest new discoveries, Brian Greene shows how the mind-boggling idea of a multiverse may hold the answer to the riddle.

TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Featured speakers have included Al Gore on climate change, Philippe Starck on design, Jill Bolte Taylor on observing her own stroke, Nicholas Negroponte on One Laptop per Child, Jane Goodall on chimpanzees, Bill Gates on malaria and mosquitoes, Pattie Maes on the Sixth Sense wearable tech, and Lost producer JJ Abrams on the allure of mystery. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and TEDTalks cover these topics as well as science, business, development and the arts. Closed captions and translated subtitles in a variety of languages are now available on, at

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The Nature of Nothing | Space Time

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How do we study nothing? An empty jar still contains something: molecules of air and a bath of infrared light from its warm environment. But what if we suck out every last molecule of air, chill the jar to absolute zero, and shield it from all external radiation? The jar would contain only empty space, but it turns out that empty space is far from nothing.

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The Biggest Questions of Cosmology: Pondering the Imponderables

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION: Is our universe unique or one of many? What happened before the Big Bang? Why is there something rather than nothing? Physicists and cosmologists are closing in on how the universe operates at its very core. But even with powerful telescopes and particle accelerators pushed to their limits, experimenters struggle to keep up as theoreticians march forward, leaving grand theories untested. Some argue that if these deep questions can’t be answered empirically, they’re not relevant to science. Are they right? Join world-leading cosmologists, philosophers and physicists as they tackle the profound questions of existence.

PARTICIPANTS: David Z. Albert, George F. R. Ellis, Alan Guth, Veronika Hubeny, Andrei Linde, Barry Loewer



This program is part of the Big Ideas Series, made possible with support from the John Templeton Foundation.

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- The Biggest Questions of Cosmology 00:05

- Participant Introductions 05:33

- Does eternity relate to infinity? 13:45

- Why is wrong to say the universe has a finite past? 24:15

- The two claims about inflation. 36:54

- Is 3D dimensional space the real space? 47:27

- The measurement problem 59:33

This program was recorded live on 6/3/17 and has been edited for our YouTube channel. Watch the original livestream here:

Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt


Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this .

Extraordinary Project Blue Book file film of Alien interviewed in 1964. Subject was named EBE-3 and was held captive for 5 days. Subject disappeared from .

We discuss the meaning of life, free will, alternate universes, and alien lifeforms. Follow me on Twitter @ziasami or tumblr ( or my site .

Do Space and Time Really Exist? | Full Debate | Huw Price, Julian Barbour, Michela Massimi

We think of space and time as the structure of the universe. Yet Einstein argued 'space and time are modes by which we think and not conditions in which we live'. Philosophers too - Kant and Heidegger no less - saw space and time as the framework of thought not the world. So are space and time just a human fantasy? Huw Price, Julian Barbour, Michela Massimi debate the structure of reality

#physics #einstein #iai #debate #space #time #reality

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Where are all the aliens? | Stephen Webb

The universe is incredibly old, astoundingly vast and populated by trillions of planets -- so where are all the aliens? Astronomer Stephen Webb has an explanation: we're alone in the universe. In a mind-expanding talk, he spells out the remarkable barriers a planet would need to clear in order to host an extraterrestrial civilization -- and makes a case for the beauty of our potential cosmic loneliness. The silence of the universe is shouting, 'We're the creatures who got lucky,' Webb says.

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Do we live in a multiverse? | The Economist

It has long been thought that our universe is all there is, but it is possible we may live in just one of many. This is the second in our six-part series on unsolved mysteries in science. Read the accompanying article:

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When the ancients looked into the night sky they thought the heavens revolved around the earth and mankind. over the centuries this view has changed radically.

We discovered we lived on a planet orbiting a star within the solar system and the solar system was found to be part of the Milky Way galaxy. Later we learned that our universe was filled with billions of other such galaxies - but could it be that we're committing the same error as our ancestors by thinking the universe contains everything there is? Could it be that we live in a multiverse?

There are a number of different theories about what the multiverse could be. One proponent of the idea of the multiverse is Dr Tegmark of MIT. Dr Tegmark suggests a four fold classification of possible types of multiverse. The first type of multiverse is just an extension of what we already know our universe expanding into infinity rather than ending at the limits of our vision.

We can look back almost to the beginning of time to the edge of the observable universe, but we can see no further. So the space beyond that distance known as the Hubble radius is literally out of sight. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything there.

Because the expansion of the universe has stretched space, astronomers are able to see out to a distance of about 42 billion light years. How far things extend beyond this is unknown. If they stretch to infinity there could be numerous isolated universes cut off from one another by their own Hubble radius - depending on the observers vantage point.

To understand the second type of multiverse in Dr Tegmark system it is first necessary to understand how the universe was formed and the theory of inflation. It was first conceived of by Alan Guth in 1979 and then later refined and expanded upon by Andrei Linde who had some key insights.

This is one of the ideas of string theory which attempts to unify general relativity with quantum mechanics. The thinking is that all of the solutions produced by string theory that don't match up with what we can see in our own universe, may actually represent reality in other universes.

The anthropic principle is the idea that our universe is fine-tuned to allow humans to live. A small fiddle with the strength of gravity for example and life as we know it would not exist - a coincidence that does not sit easily with scientists. The concept of a multiverse neatly addresses this problem within the infinite number of universes that could exist we are simply living in the one we are able to.

In the third type Dr Tegmark multiverse in the first the laws of physics are the same from one to another. In this type though the component universes are separated not by distance but by time. At every moment within such a multiverse all of the possible futures allowed by the uncertainties of quantum mechanics actually happen.

In the many worlds theory of the multiverse the entirety of the universe acts like the quantum photon, but instead of having two potential future states, every possible outcome would be manifested so our entire universe and everything within it, including you, would be constantly undergoing multiple visions into daughter universes - each with its own reality and future. Any given observer though would only see one outcome.

In the final classification, the level 4 multiverse, Dr Tegmark proposes that all coherent mathematical systems describe a physical reality of some sort. Those different systems are of necessity different universes. What this last idea translates to in practice is hard to conceive of - it is more the province of metaphysics than physics, but the other three types of multiverse though they push the bounds of physical theory do not overstep them. Observational data supporting the theory of inflation have convinced some scientists that a multiverse is possible - but the idea is still controversial.

It may be impossible to ever directly observe the multiverse but some scientists hope to eventually gather enough data supporting the theories that predict it to one day confirm its existence. If that were to happen, like the ancients before us, we would be given a whole new perspective on how the cosmos works and on our place in it.

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The Edge of an Infinite Universe

Have you ever asked “what is beyond the edge of the universe?” And have you ever been told that an infinite universe that has no edge? You were told wrong. In a sense. We can define a boundary to an infinite universe, at least mathematically. And it turns out that boundary may be as real or even more real than the universe it contains.

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Our universe may be infinite. In order to wrap our puny human minds around such a notion we like to come up with boundaries. For example we have the “observable universe” – that patch that we can see, and beyond which light has not yet had time to reach us. It’s boundary is called the particle horizon. Beyond it there exists at a minimum of thousands and possibly infinitely more regions just as large. Our observable universe is like a tiny patch of land in a vast plain. We define its horizon like we might build a little picket fence around our little patch – meaningless from the point of view of the plain, but it makes our patch feel more homey and us less crushingly insignificant.

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PHILOSOPHY - History: Aristotle on the Purpose of Life [HD]

In this video, Monte Johnson (University of California, San Diego) explores an approach to the question “What is the purpose of life?” developed by the Greek Philosopher Aristotle (384-322 BC). Aristotle reasoned that just as artificial things (such as tools and workers) have characteristic capabilities with respect to which they are judged to be good or do well, so each kind of natural thing (including plants and humans) has characteristic capabilities with respect to which can be judged, objectively, to be good or do well. For plants and animals these mostly have to do with nutrition and reproduction, and in the case of animals, pleasure and pain. For humans, these vegetative and animal capabilities are necessary but not sufficient for our flourishing. Since reason and the use of language are the unique and highest capabilities of humans, the cultivation and exercise of intellectual friendships and partnerships, moral and political virtue, scientific knowledge and (above all) theoretical philosophy, was argued by Aristotle to be the ultimate purpose of human life.

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